The word permaculture is a portmanteau composed of ‘permanent’ and ‘culture’. This perfectly describes what we want to achieve at the NamKhan Eco Farm i.e. a sustainable and permanent system.
Primarily, this farm serves as an educational training center for permaculture practices in addition, it is sufficiently productive as an economically viable venture selling vegetables to restaurants, hotels and end customers. All our products are 100% organic.
Eco farming takes a holistic approach to farming as a result, it proposes nurturing symbiotic species and implementing all methods that support the regeneration of the soil and the total ecosystem on the farm. The yield is smaller and it takes a lot of passion to find out which crops grow best in which time, as well as the timely effort to improve the soil.
NamKhan Eco Farm will be joining the global permaculture network, Permacultureglobal– an Australian organization which aims to spread the concept of permaculture, globally. Knowing that, the NamKhan Eco Farm will be offering various permaculture courses (including Permaculture Design), as of 2018.
As of the beginning of February Patrick Vilbert, a French permaculture expert will be joining the team as manager of the NamKhan Eco Farm.
Laos, the so called landlocked, ‘forgotten’ country is situated in the north of Thailand and home to LuangPrabang – a protected UNESCO world culture heritage site. It lies at the heart of Laos and it’s a meeting point of Mekong and NamKhan rivers.
The NamKhan Eco Farm lies about 2 km outside of Luang Prabang and stretching about for one km along the NamKhan River.
If you are interested to join us as a volunteer please click here.
The NamKhan Eco Farm aims to maintain biodiversity in food production and farming and it is of the upmost importance to Laos because it does not have many ecological or permaculture farms. The agricultural authorities in Laos consider ecological farming as a future ecological development.
Interestingly, Laos does not produce sufficient fruits or vegetables to sustain its demand therefore, this area resorts to importation. Mainly , production of rice dominates agriculture in Laos that endangers the ecosystem’s diversity.
The soil quality can get lower upon the cultivation of an individual plant species in the same land for many years as a result , this practice endangers the sustainability of the yields.The focus on growing rice is not helping farmers earn enough for a decent living, given that they are heavily dependent of one food species. Therefore, this inefficient practice is creating new obstacles, instead of reducing existing ones. This is a challenge which the NamKhan Eco Farm is focused on overcoming.
The NamKhan Eco Farm is highly diversified and includes a range of tropical fruits, vegetables, roots and herbs consequently, it will enrich the supply of different farming products and It will have a strong focus on educating local farmers about new crops.
In addition, the Eco Farm plans to stimulate the expansion of eco farms and to implement a nucleus contract farming model most importantly, it should prove to be sufficient. We will grow, test and experiment on growing crops and we will also extend our plans into food-processing. These efforts deliver positive results combined with the efforts of local farmers under permaculture principals and our own policies.
The crops which will be grown at the NamKhan Eco Farm will be systematically chosen to support sustainability within our ecosystem.
Here, we aim to plant species which are different from what the other farmers in Laos are currently planting. While this practice may sound strange, the diversity of vegetables in Laos is not as big as one would expect.
We are currently testing a wide range of European vegetables that are usually not available in Laotian markets and restaurants.After testing , the evaluation will take place to know which vegetables can be viably grown on a larger scale.The consultation process has been started with restaurants and consumers of vegetables, fruits and herbs in order to gauge the demand. Our team is currently testing the growth of over 100 different vegetables in 9 permanent greenhouses and over 200 vegetable beds. The range of species which we are growing at the NamKhan Eco Farm, include:
Banana, papaya, mango, grapefruit, dragon fruit, watermelon, honey melon, passion fruit, lemon, and lime.
Avocado, tomato, chilies, cucumber, artichoke, zucchini, eggplant, onion, potatoes, paprika, root vegetables, and various salad leaves.
Persil, basil, lemon grass, dill, lavender, rosemary, Asian and Chinese herbs, and various European herbs.
Ginger, turmeric, pepper, garlic and various Asian spices.
The NamKhan Village is also installing a food-processing facility which will handle small production runs of jams or vegetable sauces, dried herbs and dried herb mixes. The food-processing will take place under certified, sterile conditions which enables us to sell products to super markets and speciality stores as well as for export.
We aim to supply various restaurants, hotels and guesthouses in Luang Prabang with fruits and vegetables. In addition, our shop is located at the NamKhan Eco Farm. Our target market are customers who value our 100% ecological produce which is grown from ecological seeds. Our seeds are non-GMO seeds and we are currently testing non-hybrid seeds.
The NamKhan Project aims to primarily employ people from Laos whenever it is possible. In addition, two co-founders run this project (Germany and Spain, respectively) .
We help farmers to expand knowledge, enrich product supply and build self-financing venture which generates profit to reinvest.
We offer ongoing education through workshops, no charge, for staff and local farmers interested for knowledge in permaculture. We will be the first farm in Laos to offer regular permaculture design courses, with which we start in 2018.
For some background information about permaculture design, click here.
At the NamKhan Eco Farm we have a small carpentry with 4 full time employees, the head is a a carpenter from Spain. The goal is to educate and train 3-4 local carpenters per year and offer them the possibility at some point to run their own business. In the carpentry we produce nearly everything we need for the Eco Farm, mostly furniture.
Besides the carpentry we have a basket weaving workshop where we produce all kind of bamboo baskets, lamps and other accessories we need on the Farm
Please visit our main page for more information and you can know about the team behind the NamKhan Project.
Visitors are always welcome at the NamKhan Eco Farm. We are open between 9 am and 6 pm. Please contact us via our Contact page for specific information. Visitors are welcome to come and learn more about the NamKhan Project. If you want to book your private tour please contact us.
We are collaborating with a number of institutions and organizations at the NamKhan Eco Farm and we always seek to ensure mutual benefits to our partners for example, knowledge transfer ,research and development. Please visit our ‘Become a Partner’ page for further information.